Animal Breeding and Productivity Growth of Dairy Farms

D. M. Atsbeha, D. Kristofersson, K. Rickertsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We introduce genetic-based technical change into a Malmquist productivity index and measure the growth in productivity caused by bovine breeding. Because breeding is likely to affect milk quality, we adjust milk quantities for quality differences. We use panel data on Icelandic dairy farms from 1997 to 2006 to estimate an input distance function. The Malmquist productivity index shows that the average productivity growth rate is 1.6%. Scale effects are the most important source of this growth, but 19% of the productivity growth rate is due to breeding. If quality differences are ignored, the average productivity growth rate is reduced by 83%.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)996-1012
Number of pages17
JournalAmerican Journal of Agricultural Economics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Daniel Muluwork Atsbeha is grateful for the financial assistance received from the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund.

Other keywords

  • Breeding
  • Dairy production
  • Malmquist productivity index
  • Technical change

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